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Unemployment Benefits for Non-Senate Faculty

Non-Senate Faculty (Lecturers) are eligible to collect unemployment during breaks between quarters or semesters and over summer break.  The legal basis for eligibility is the fact that NSF do not have "reasonable assurance" of employment when the quarter or semester begins. 

In 1989, the precedent setting Cervisi decision held that an assignment that is contingent on enrollment, funding, or other program changes is not a reasonable assurance of employment.  At the University of California, almost all lecturer appointments in the first six years or more are subject to cancellation based on availability of funding, enrollment and other programmatic change.   This decision by the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (2017) is useful for its confirmation of unemployment eligibility during the break between Fall and Winter/Spring terms and for affirmation of the principles in the Cervisi decision and Unit 18 MOU.

Applying for Unemployment Benefits through the California Employment Development Department can be complicated, so we've gathered several resources to assist you with the application, interview and appeals process.  If you have questions or difficulty with this process, please contact your local's field representative.

One thing to note:  Some lecturers are paid over twelve months (title code 1630) and others are paid over nine months (title code (1632).  Lecturers who are paid over twelve months may have more difficulty getting unemployment benefits even though they are being paid for the same service period as a nine month colleague.  For NSF paid over twelve months, nine months of wages are held by the employer and spread over twelve months. The employee does not have the option of requiring full payment by the last day of the contracted work period. The EDD sometimes denies unemployment benefits for people who are receiving a paycheck even though it is deferred payment for work previously performed, or is for work in the upcoming academic year that is contingent on enrollment, funding or other changes or for work already finished.  Recently some twelve month pay lecturers have been denied benefits, even on appeal. This decision by the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (2013) may be useful in future appeals involving the issue of deferred payment.

 A useful supporting clarification of the deferred payment problem is the fact that retirement service credit is also distributed over twelve months even though the employee accrues the same total retirement service credit as they would if they were paid over nine months.  

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Unemployment Guide for NSF (PDF)

Unemployment  Guide for NSF (Prezi) Recommended

Interview Tips (Phone and In-person)

Frequently Asked Questions Courtesy of AFT Local 1521

Tips for Applying  Courtesy of AFT Local 1521

Sample Appeal Letter PDF      Doc version here

Sample EDD Appeal Brief PDF     Doc version here   (This appeal is specific to denials based on payment received over the summer for work done during the academic year.)  

Other Resources for Assistance with Questions about Unemployment

San Francisco Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

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Four Ways to Apply for Unemployment:

  1. ON-LINE: https://eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov 
  2. BY FILLING OUT AN APPLICATION (DE 110I) AND MAILING OR FAXING IT.
  3. BY VISITING THE EDD OFFICE IN PERSON
  4. BY CALLING 1-800-300-5616

Very important: Use ONLY ONE of the four options. If you send the information using more than one option, it will be automatically rejected because the system assumes that one is fraudulent. It will take extra time to investigate.

Possible Questions

Are you a member of a Union?
“Yes” you are represented by UC-AFT.

Union Name?
University Council - American Federation of Teachers

Union Number?
See Local number on UC-AFT local page

Telephone Number?
See Local contact info on UC-AFT local page

Does the Union operate a hiring hall or help its members find jobs?
No.

Last employer?
University of California, [fill in campus]

Telephone number of last employer?
Campus Human Resources

Name of your last supervisor?
Give the name of your Department Chair.

Last day of work?
Last day of contract period on appointment letter.

What are the gross wages for your last week of work?
Sum your gross wages for all employment during the course of the quarter, and then divide that answer by the number of weeks of the quarter. For example, if you earned $10,000 for the quarter, and the quarter was 8 weeks long, the answer is $10,000 divided by 8 = $1250/week. If you worked on two or more campuses with different length quarters/semesters, compute the amount for each District, and then take an average of these amounts. 

Reason for no longer working?
Laid Off/Lack of Work.  "I am a part-time, temporary, hourly university instructor who was laid off due to a lack of university assignments." 

Explain why you are no longer working?
My part-time teaching job ended. My next appointment is contingent on adequate enrollment, funding, program need, and district prerogatives. I do not have reasonable assurance of re-employment.

Do you expect to return to work?
“Yes” if you have an appointment letter, otherwise “No”

Do you have a date to start?
If you have an appointment letter, first day indicated in service period.

Are you returning to work for the next school session?
“Yes” if you have an appointment letter, otherwise “No”.

Are you in Winter or school break?
No. I got laid off.

Is your usual occupation seasonal?
No.

Are you available for immediate full-time work in your usual occupation?
Yes.